Mixing it up with harry potter

Mixing it up with … Harry Potter
Owen Smith, Church House Publishing, 2007

£8.99 (Approx)
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What does it say on the tin?

Fact 1. The seven Harry Potter books have sold more than 350 million copies in 200 countries and the films are one of the highest grossing film series of all time…

Fact 2. Young people aged 9-13 are a massively under-resourced age group in churches.

In 12 sessions, “Mixing it up with Harry Potter” draws parallels between events in the Harry Potter world and the world in which our young people live. These parallels allow youth leaders to explore Christian concepts with young people – from complex subjects such as Sacrifice and Mercy to everyday issues such as Fitting in and Boasting. “Mixing it up with Harry Potter” will help young people to delight in their faith and encourage them to see that a relationship with God is even more enchanting than a visit to Hogwarts!

What do you get?

Leader’s guide with 12 session outlines and photocopiable resources. Purchasable from Amazon, EBAY or Church House Publishing.

Who is it for?

9 year olds to 13 year olds. Can be used as a full series or stand-a-lone sessions. These sessions are best suited for young people who have some knowledge of Christian teaching and who may already be part of a church.




  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Appealing paperback glossy cover with illustrations relevant to its Harry Potter theme. Each session is extremely clearly laid out with clear subheadings. Instructions are very clear.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Aims are stated at the beginning of each session. These are then reinforced by key film quotes from Harry Potter, and passages from the Bible.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Accessible to any leader. Guidance is simple yet informative. This resource also outlines some helpful tips in inclusion of young people and good practice. The notes allow leaders to confidently lead on topics, while also leaving room for conversations to be directed by the group.

    Who could lead it?

    Any adult passionate about helping young people understand themes in the Bible.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Facilitate the sessions well. Available in the leader book for photocopying. The resources are for the session activities, which in turn do well in reinforcing the topic to be covered.

    How good is any digital material?

    Main focus is the use of Harry Potter DVDs/clips. Good, relevant digital material for young people. DVD player and TV needed.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation for these sessions is quick and easy. The accessible format of the notes and clearly labelled 'Beforehand' section means leaders can straight away see what they need. There is also a section for resources on each session which clearly defines what may need to be provided for the event. These tend to be low in cost.

    Is there website support? Links?

    No, this is helpful for venues which may not have internet access.

    Is it dated?

    Marginally. Harry Potter is an extremely well known and relevant cultural phenomena currently, this resource may need to be adapted in the years to come. One activity involves charades with songs/films which may become less popular, however alternatives can easily be inserted by the leader.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Very well. Best done in small groups, this resource encourages young people to discuss relevant topics with one another, but also gives space for them to share vulnerabilities. Opening and closing activities keep group interaction both fun and relevant.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Young people are encouraged to engage through visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. This ensures all those taking part have access to the sessions.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Quick and easy planning. 45 minutes sessions are designed to be used for midweek, Sunday school or school lunchtimes. They do not require much space but do need access to a DVD player/TV. They also do not necessarily need to be done in chronological order which allows the leader to choose the most relevant for their young people each week. NB: Harry Potter film for sessions 10,11 and 12 are rated 12.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Biblical themes are consistently related back to current culture. Young people can then apply what they learn by discussion on how it is relevant to them. They are given the opportunity to pray for God's guidance in how to act on what they've learnt.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Just under half - the rest encourages application of what the passage means.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Clearly and concisely. Young people read the passages together and then answer follow up questions on what it means. The Biblical material is cleverly linked to Harry Potter themes and then used in activities to help young people see how it affects their lives today.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    By applying themes in the Bible to the contemporary world today, participants are able to draw parallels between the two. Just as Jesus did when teaching the disciples through parables.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, this resource is widely relevant to many denominations. Prayer is a larger focus than the Holy Spirit.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Gently, by challenging participants to apply Biblical teaching to their own actions and thought processes.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Very well, by combining group trust with honest discussion.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    There is a whole session based on making participants think about God's purpose for their lives.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Explicitly in every session. This is the purpose of the whole resource; to engage young people in Christianity via contemporary culture so the Bible becomes applicable to their lives.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Consistently. Personal evangelism is facilitated by young people considering what God wants for them verses what they may want. Encouraged to apply Bible teachings to own actions.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    By asking young people to apply Biblical teachings to their own lives, this resource indirectly influences community involvement by encouraging participants to adopt Jesus like traits.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a main focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a main focus.

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